Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, Jasper Cropsey, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Church . . . do the names mean anything to you? Sound familiar? Art academics know In the vicinity of New York’s Hudson River Valley, the Adirondack Mountains, Catskill Mountains and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a group of American painters led by British-born Cole forged an artistic vision of the American wilderness. These artistic pioneers and like-minded devotees came to reverently be known as The Hudson River School.
This was the first American school of landscape painting that emerged between 1825 and 1880. Their works would impress the world with their creative brilliance and wondrous vision. On canvas they would bring to life 19th-century America through imagination, interpretation, color and conviction, and they would craft an idealistic, identifiable narrative of an ever-changing nation. This template would soon attract fervid followers and avid admirers.
Their story is painted, stroke by stroke, on “The Hudson River School: Artistic Pioneers” (Public Media Distribution), a fascinating documentary to be released on DVD on February 16. We assure your world will be colored brilliantly.